My youngest son, Taliesin, is seventeen years old. He is an Orthodox Christian and is digging deep to learn about the teachings of the Church, to live the life of the sacraments, and grow in the grace of God. He recently moved 2,000 kilometers to live with his half-brother and help prepare for the arrival of his half-brother’s child (due in late December or early January) by making repairs and improvements to the home.
Life in the American state of New Mexico can be harsh. It is a desert with an elevation of 1,900 meters. Summers are hot and days this time of year (late August/early September) often end with monsoon rains that last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. The mountains to the west and north of the area create turbulent weather at times.
My son and I were talking about spiritual matters over a social media messenger. He was defending his faith for a friend who is reluctant to embrace the faith, but is open to hearing what he says. After a few minutes he informed me that the weather had become severe and the National Weather Service had issued a flood advisory and a tornado watch. While rare in most of the world, tornadoes are very common in the summer in the southern and eastern parts of the United States. New Mexico has only a few every decade, but there is no shelter from them as few homes have a basement in that region. The winds began to pick up strongly as the storm front reached his brother’s home and he told me about it and the advisories.
I typed in the chat, “Most Holy Theotokos, rescue us!” My son began to pray and ask the Theotokos’ intercessions. Two or three minutes later he chatted again that the storm had passed as suddenly as it had appeared and that a dusting of snow had taken its place—right there in the desert in the summer! I have taught him to trust in God and His saints from a young age, but it is only since we entered canonical Orthodoxy at Pentecost last year that he has taken this as a personal action and belief.
My son shared what had happened with his skeptical friend and she opened up to the idea that God’s saints are close to Him and He listens to them when they intercede for us. Never forget that your children are paying attention. Show them that you believe and they will be inclined to do the same. As it says in the Book of Proverbs, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
In closing, I can only say this: God is gloriously to be praised and He is glorious in His saints, especially His most pure and holy Mother!